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2022 - 2023

Traditional healing practices along Peru’s northern Pacific coast stretch as far back as Cupisnique culture circa 1500 BC. Scholars trace them in the religious power that flourished under Moche culture between 100 and 700 AD and up until the advent of Spanish colonization in 1532. Under Spanish colonial rule, codified racist medical practices profoundly altered the way indigenous communities understood their bodies, illness, and death.

Reflecting on her own experience of sickness, treatment, and recovery, Cristina Flores Pescorán erects a healing altar to explore the impact of modern medicine on perceptions of health and personhood. The Mesas, or healing altars, native to northern Peru and bring together a fusion of power objects, symbols, and religious syncretism. They are used by shamans as maps to guide a patient's diagnosis, cleansing, and treatment across the physical and spiritual realms.


Flores Pescorán’s own healing altar is a confluence of andean and personal cosmologies. in Chancay culture, a pre- Inca civilization that developed on the central coast of Peru between 1200 and 1470 AD, it was believed that gauze could be imbued with supernatural and protective powers. Flores Pescorán transforms the medical gauze that once

enveloped her body during cancer treatment into a reflection on corporality, territory, and

family. In her studio, touching, tasting, chewing, and digesting become ritual-actions to

recuperate ancestral knowledge, invent possible cures, and create community among our pores, taste buds, and individual cells. Moments of reunion and sharing forge continuity among the bodies in the studio, thereby opening the possibility of healing as a collective experience.

Residencia artística.

Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht 2023

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